Fort Verde was established in 1865, when the Yavapai and Apache Indians in the area began attacking the newly built farming settlement. The fort was originally named Camp Lincoln. The name was later changed to Camp Verde, due to the fact that so many camps had been given the name Lincoln. Fort Verde was used as a base for patrols, a supply center and staging spot for activities. Indians never attacked the fort.
General George Crook arrived at Camp Verde in 1872 charged with squelching the Apache and Yavapai Indian uprisings. General Crook proved successful. The Indians were placed on the Rio Verde Reservation in 1873. Then the federal government took the reservation away two years later, this forced the tribe to go to the San Carols Reservation. The Indians were forced to march 150 miles to the San Carlos Reservation to live. This famous march was named “March of Tears”. Many Indians lost their lives during the trek. Then in 1879, the name changed again, this time to Fort Verde. The wars in the area were almost over when then name change occurred. The in 1891, Fort Verde closed.
Today the old Fort Verde has been made into Fort Verde State Historic Park. The 10-acre park includes an administration building, bachelor’s quarters, commanding officer’s house, doctor’s quarters and part of the parade field. Visitors will have an opportunity to see these surviving buildings left from the fort’s heydays.
The park has exhibits, photos, maps, letters and artifacts used over 100 years ago. The fort also contains military artifacts, Indian relics and articles used by the settlers and Indians. Some of the buildings have been restored using furnishings from the era. During the winter, the park holds living history programs on Saturdays.
Fort Verde State Park is open everyday from 8:00 to 4:30 pm, except on Christmas. The cost of admission is $2.00 for adults, 12 – 17 years of age are $1.00 and children under 12 are free. There are discounts for group tours. For more information, you may call 520-567-3275.
You can get to Fort Verde State Park from Camp Verde by taking Main Street north. Then turn east onto Hollamon Street. You can get to Fort Verde State Park from Phoenix or Tucson by taking Interstate 17 north out of town. Continue to head north toward Flagstaff, yet before you get to Flagstaff you will see Exit 285 for Camp Verde. Take the exit and head east to Main Street. Travel on Main Street north to Hollamon. Street. When you come to Hollamon Street, head east until you come to the Park. If you are coming from Flagstaff, take Interstate 17 south out of town to Camp Verde. Take the exit 289 for Camp Verde. Then, travel down Montezuma Castle Highway, which turns into Main Street. Then turn east onto Hollamon Street. . Fort Verde State Park is located at 125 Hollamon Street, in downtown Camp Verde. It is approximately three miles from the Interstate 17.
There is a lot to take in at Fort Verde State Park. You should plan on at least an hour stay.